b'STATE BOARDING SCHOOLStoo busy to go to matches. Day pupils familiesnot constantly bombarding us with information, are drawn from the local Cotswold villages, whilesaid one mum, while another wished for moreboarders parents live far and wide. Some areCommunication hasnt been as good, she said. very wealthy but there are lots of parents whoAll are unanimous in their praise for the ofce are not in that position, said one. One parentstaff and general response to email and phone who had lived in Africa had chosen the schoolenquiriesbrilliant, friendly, welcoming and go largely because of the cosmopolitan, interna- out of their way. Students are articulate and sen-tional avour. Parents say they are not aware ofsible. Reasonably balanced, we also heard.any division between boarding and day studentsSome of my childrens friends have a differentMoney matters: LA-funded education, with board-cultural bent to themtheyve liked that, saiding at 11,250 pa. Very reasonable, said parents.one, and boarders who take part in local clubs form friendships in the community too. AlthoughThe last word: Like the green pastures of the Covid has made meeting up in person moreCotswold landscape, Burford School has with-difficult, there were a lot of online meetings.stood the ravages of time, providing a bedrock We met up in the summer with other parentsacademic education and an ever-evolving creative before the girls even started at the school, saidexperience. Both day and boarding pupils are kept one mum. An active PTA supports all music andbusy and motivated, at work and play. The paint drama productions and raises money for extras.may have faded a bit over the years, but the stand-Mixed views on comms. I like the way they areards havent.Colchester Royal Grammar School JN46 Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex CO3 3ND01206 509100|[email protected]|www.crgs.co.ukAges: 11-18 Pupils: 1,001; sixth form: 378; Boarders: 30 fullFees: Day free; Boarding 14,175 paHeadmaster: Since 2015, John Russell BSc MAthe school is run through enrichmentevery-ARCS, previously deputy head of Cranbrook.thing from for modern languages to Fun Fridays, Grew up in the village of Goring on the west sidewhich weve just re-introduced. Latter involves of Reading, where he attended the local compa focus on mental health in sixth formcould then Henley College before studying physics atinvolve a parent lending a reindeer at Christmas, Imperial. Narrowed down his career options toplaying dodgeball or doing karaoke, which I a toss-up between medical physics and teachingrecently performed in, very badly. chose the latter because I loved being in theParents say he steered the ship well during classroom. First job in a Loughton comprehen- Covid. Pretty much every lesson went live on sive before becoming head of physics at IlfordTeams on the rst day of the rst lockdownthe County High. problem I had was not keeping everyone on track A natural diplomat, he is unintimidating andacademically, but slowing down the pace because hands-on, squeezing in GCSE or A level teaching,its actually easier to get through more work in sometimes even bothit depends where theonline lessons, he says. More importantly, on the boss wants me, he smiles. His weekly drop-inpastoral side, we made sure everyone had a laptop session is appreciated by parents, and staff sayand invited any student not engaging online back he is highly supportive and consultative. Pupilsinto school. And when all the students came back approve of his mutual respectno standing upto school, we focused on the social side of things when he walks in the classroom etc. Hes not like(whichjudging from the number of year 11s a headmasterhes one of the team and the stu- who joined their tutorials even when theyd nor-dents love him for it, a parent told us. mally have left schoolshows how much it had Enrichment is a keyword. We are recognisedbeen missed).for our huge academic success but the reality is 1301'